Mix beauty with the grotesque

Jim Pav­elec demon­strates how to com­bine the del­i­cate beauty of a fe­male face with el­e­ments of the grotesque to cre­ate haunting and in­trigu­ing por­traits

ImagineFX: Sci-fi & Fantasy Art magazine - - Fxposé Traditional Art -

Late in the 15th cen­tury the rem­nants of an­cient build­ings – Em­peror Nero’s lost palace – were dis­cov­ered be­neath the Esquiline Hill, the largest of the seven hills of Rome. Adorn­ing the walls of these buried build­ings are myr­iad dec­o­ra­tive paint­ings con­tain­ing bizarre fig­ures com­bin­ing hu­man, an­i­mal and veg­e­tal forms. The Ital­ians at that time named the dec­o­ra­tions grottesca (from grotto or cave) or “grotesques”.

The in­flu­ence of the grotesques spread rapidly through­out Europe, in­spir­ing artists over suc­ces­sive cen­turies such as Michelan­gelo, Hierony­mus Bosch, Sal­va­tor Rosa, Henry Fuseli, Wil­liam Blake and Goya. This rich vis­ual tra­di­tion led au­thors such as Poe, Baude­laire, Love­craft and many oth­ers to take up the man­tle of the grotesque. More re­cently, we can see the re­vi­tal­i­sa­tion of the grotesque in the art of HR Giger, Zdzisław Beksin­ski,´ Allen Wil­liams, Wayne Bar­lowe and Chet Zar.

There is a power in the grotesque, one that wrapped its slith­er­ing ten­ta­cles around my imag­i­na­tion at a very young age. It took me a very long time to let go of what peo­ple were telling me I should do with my art and truly em­brace what I knew I should have been do­ing all along. In this work­shop we’ll delve into the tech­niques I use to cre­ate the beau­ti­ful and bizarre cre­ations that are the foun­da­tion of my imag­i­na­tive life.

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